Using the subjunctive with negative opinion phrases

When we introduce a sentence with an affirmative opinion phrase, like creo que, opino que, me parece que..., it is followed by the indicative:

Yo creo que Marta tiene celos. 
I think Marta is jealous.

A mi me parece que la fruta es muy cara en esta tienda.
I think the fruit is very expensive in this shop.

However, if we make the sentences above negative we use the subjunctive rather than the indicative:

Yo no creo que María sea celosa.
I don't think María is jealous.

A mí no me parece que la fruta sea muy cara en esta tienda.
I don't think the fruit is very expensive in this shop.

Here are some more common opinion phrases where this rule applies:

  • Opino que... My opinion is... / I think that...
  • Pienso que... I think that...
  • Considero que... I consider that...
  • Sospecho que... I suspect that...

Have a look and listen to these examples:

Nosotros no opinamos que el jefe tenga razón. 
We do not think that the boss is right.

Mi madre no piensa que yo vaya a terminar el curso de fotografía.
My mother does not think I will be able to finish the photography course.

Mi marido no considera que los niños estén malcriados.
My husband does not think that the children are spoilt.

Fernando no sospecha que su mujer le haya sido infiel siempre.
Fernando does not suspect that his wife has always been unfaithful.

Notice that when the negative opinion phrase is in the present tense, the sentence after "que" can be expressed in any subjunctive tense. We can express an opinion about something happening in the present, past or future:

  • No creo que Susana venga hoy.  (I don't think Susana will come today.)
  • No creo que Susana vaya a venir hoy. (I don't think Susana is going to come today.)
  • No creo que Susana haya venido hoy. (I don't think Susana came today.)
  • No creo que Susana viniera hoy. (I don't think Susana came today.)
  • No creo que Susana hubiera venido hoy. (I don't think Susana would have come today.)

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Nosotros no opinamos que el jefe tenga razón. 
We do not think that the boss is right.


Mi marido no considera que los niños estén malcriados.
My husband does not think that the children are spoilt.


A mí no me parece que la fruta sea muy cara en esta tienda.
I don't think the fruit is very expensive in this shop.


Mi madre no piensa que yo vaya a terminar el curso de fotografía.
My mother does not think I will be able to finish the photography course.


Yo no creo que María sea celosa.
I don't think María is jealous.


Fernando no sospecha que su mujer le haya sido infiel siempre.
Fernando does not suspect that his wife has always been unfaithful.


Q&A Forum 1 question, 2 answers

subjunctive

I had this question in a test and got it right, but I thought I read somewhere that the subjunctive is suppose to have a change of subject, but it is not true in this case (creo=yo, sepa=yo).  Can you help to clarify?  Thank you.

No creo que yo ________ nada hasta las diez.I don't think I will know anything until ten o'clock.HINT: Conjugate "saber" in El Presente Subjuntivosepa
Asked 3 months ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Papi

Having the same subject (in the main and subordinate clause) doesn't always mean that you cannot use the subjunctive. There are clear cases where this rule applies, for example with "esperar que.." or "quiero que..."; so you'd say:

Espero llegar pronto a tu casa. (same subject "yo" for both)

Espero que llegues pronto a tu casa. (different subject, "yo" and "tú")

Quiero descansar un poco. (same subject "yo" for both)

Quiero que descanses un poco.  (different subject, "yo" and "tú")

But in the case of: "No creo que" this rule doesn't apply, so you can say:

Yo no creo que (yo) sea guapo. (I don't believe I am handsome.)

Yo no creo que (ellos) sean guapos. (I don't believe they are handsome.)

I hope this helps,

Inma

Thank you!  Yes it helps!  

Is there a specific place in kwiziq.com where i can study the exceptions? or these concepts? or any specific recommendations?

subjunctive

I had this question in a test and got it right, but I thought I read somewhere that the subjunctive is suppose to have a change of subject, but it is not true in this case (creo=yo, sepa=yo).  Can you help to clarify?  Thank you.

No creo que yo ________ nada hasta las diez.I don't think I will know anything until ten o'clock.HINT: Conjugate "saber" in El Presente Subjuntivosepa

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

How has your day been?